Skip to comments.Calling All Christians: Name that Heresy! (Gospels more inspired than Epistles) (VANITY)
Posted on 01/22/2008 9:57:30 PM PST by ROTB
I have a Christian brother who keeps insisting that the Gospels are more authoritative than the Epistles of Paul, John, and Peter.
I know this is an error because of 2 Peter 3:16:
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 2 Peter 3:16
Peter, who walked with Jesus, is calling Paul's writings scripture.
This couldn't be the first time this error has been mentioned in the Christian era. But I don't know what it's called, and I'm hoping one of you can save me the trouble of digging for it.
Red Letter Christians.
A lot of people would like the Epistles ignored since they mention things like homosexuality, lukewarm churches, apostasy, etc....
pretty uncomfortable stuff for some of the left leaning “christians”.
However, in all honesty, Christ’s words are the “most” legitimate. As we know, sometimes the Apostles did wrong things, but Christ never did.
Paul’s words are the ones I find the most awe-inspiring, but he never personally knew Christ while He was alive.
There are a couple areas in the New Testament that give me pause, simply because the earliest manuscripts don’t have the verses in them, for example, John 7:53-8:11 seems to have appeared in the centuries AFTER they were written. Look it up in your bible. I believe there is another place like that in the Gospels, but I don’t remember where it is.
This doesn’t mean it was necessarily not inspired by God, but when dealing with humans, one must consider what motives people may have had along the way as the letters were copied.
Yeah, but Christ never wrote a single word. It was all written down by Apostles or hangers-on.
Acts 9 - They both met, they were both alive.
The Epistles must be understood through the lens of the Gospels. Remember the Epistles were written to Christians- people who had already heard and accepted the Gospel. The Epistles tell us how the Lord and the Apostles desire for us Christians to behave. Without them, we would be on our own in setting standards of behavior (a scary thought).
Marcion, a man of the second century, could not accept the typology and analogy that links the OT with the NT. Thus, he could not comprehend the relationship between the Old and New Covenant. As such, to make the Christian Scriptures "less Jewish", he denied the Scriptural status of numerous NT letters. I believe he denied everything after the Pastorals, and only included Luke's Gospel of the four...
He is one of the main driving forces of the Church setting a canon.
the Gospels are more authoritative than the Epistles of Paul, John, and Peter.
Some of the emergent types talk this way. "Red letter Christians". The words of Jesus (thus "red letter Christian". Funny, my bible doesn't have red letters.) matter most.
Classic protestant liberalism is another (IMHO related) possiblity.
Some extreme dispensationalists go the other direction. "Paul is for the church age." or some such nonsense. Edging up to Marcionism.
Paul spent 3 years with Jesus Christ after Jesus was risen...
I heard of a guy who put the Gospels ahead of the epistles in order to justify pacifism.
His comment about Romans 13 was: “Oh, that is the opinion of PAUL”, (with a little whimpering sigh).
So, yes, you are correct, pacifism was his excuse, and God’s word was his casualty.
An example of this can be found in seventh chapter of 1 Corinthians:
10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord. . .
Here we see that Paul is making it clear that it is God that commands what follows and that it is not just his opinion. If we look further down the passage we find:
12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord. . .
25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment. . .
In these two verses, Paul makes it known that it is his opinion and not the word of God which follows these statements.
While it would appear that I am making a case for your friend's argument, this actually does just the opposite. When Paul sets apart these few verses as being of his own opinion, he is also pointing out that everything else he writes is from God and thus carries the full authority of God.
Has "Bob" already been used?
Where do you get that? Depending on which book you use, Christ, in resurrected form, was here one day, at least ten days, or forty days. And that was with all the Apostles.
Christ was not alive then and only spoke to Paul in a voice.
Paul, Peter, James and perhaps others made no such claim.
In other words: where these writers seem to disagree with Jesus? Jesus is the Truth.
Your friend is very close to being right.
Your friend is saying the 4 Gospels are the ONLY inspired Word of God?
I've heard this before. It usually precedes a new "prophesy" by the one who has this "special knowledge". This idea is "Gnostic" (in nature). These losers need to have most of the NT wiped away so THEY can begin to tell YOU how everything is going to be...
They are nothing more than "little anti-christs".
Matt 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect
Nothing new here...
Your friend is saying the 4 Gospels are the ONLY inspired Word of God?
He simply favors the authority of the Gospels over the Epistles.
Christ was dead? but still spoke???
I think we may be having a definition or terminology problem here.
This was after He had risen from the dead, and ascended to the Father in Heaven.
As far as I can tell, He has been alive ever since. No?
I use the bible...Which book do you use??? Or, maybe you don't use a book...
You might try this as a counterargument.
1. Luke wrote one of the Gospels your friend esteems so much.
2. Luke also wrote Acts, which after all is also an Epistle (i.e., a letter) to Theophilus.
3. Acts focuses primarily on Paul's conversion and ministry.
4. Thus, God used a Gospel writer to introduce and authenticate the chief writer of the Epistles. He thereby transitions us from history (the Gospels) to guidance (the Epistles), indicating both are important.
Consider the different purposes of Gospels and Epistles. In broad terms, one might describe the Gospels as historical and persuasive, meant to convince readers of the veracity of Christ's life, birth, and resurrection. The Epistles' purpose, again speaking broadly, is instructional and exhortative, to guide Christians in their faith-walk.
Perhaps your friend prefers concrete stories about actual events to more abstract arguments. Indeed, perhaps he struggles still with the basic message of the Gospel! It is true that without the Gospels the Epistles are empty. It is also true that without the Epistles (ignoring for a moment, if one can , the work of the Holy Spirit) Christians remain spiritual babies.
Clearly, we are to start with the Gospels, but just as clearly we also need the Epistles.
What are your references to support what you are asserting?
Yes, Christ was alive then. Remember that Acts 1 records Jesus’ ascension into Heaven. That took place before Paul’s conversion.